"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Isn't this awesome? :) I think it helps to put things into perspective a little... no matter what is going on in our lives and how hard it seems... it's temporary. it only lasts for a limited amount of time, and then we get to the amazingly cool part, that never ends... you know? I mean, that doesn't diminish the difficulty probably, but with that knowledge and hope... doesn't that change the burden a little bit? if you know that you have to carry this 200 pound sack of flour for an hour, you might have a lot more hope than if someone said carry it until you can't carry it any more. :) I think that knowing that these things will end makes them easier to bear... and easier to look at positively even. as learning opportunities, as growing experiences. it doesn't always feel like that, I know... but that perspective is possible when you know the ending of the story. so what if the hero has to sit in the dungeon for a year... you know? in the end he fights his way out and takes a shower and marries the princess and saves the kingdom from the evil wizard. ...so everything is okay, even when he is in the dungeon. am I making sense? :)
We can't see the ending all the time... but mostly I think it's because we have a hard time trusting it, or we are trying to ignore the fact that this is a book and not just one page. We give up on the story and stop reading, when just one paragraph away the king's guard was going to save us... we give up on ourselves way too easily. Remember the part where God doesn't give us challenges without also giving us a way to get through? There are trap doors and well-placed swords and convenient good fairies all along the way in this story... placed in the plot just perfectly so that when you think all is lost, you turn the page, and suddenly the enchantment wears off or the twin sister you never knew you had sneaks her way into the castle and shows you a secret passageway out of the dungeon. You can't lose... don't you get it? You are the hero, and the Author of the book would NEVER let you fail. It wouldn't be exciting and you wouldn't be a good hero if there weren't plot twists and dragons to fight and dungeons and enchantments... but since you are the hero, you will beat them all. We can't see the plot, but it is there... and the happily ever after in this story really means ever after... happy forever. that is our future. so, kill the dragons, and we'll go enjoy it. :)